“I tried not to dwell on it, I tried to learn from it. And I took care of myself. I looked at it as a new beginning, with new opportunities … and I still do after all these years, try to do something positive with it. I tried to take something that was tragic — I couldn’t have any more children — not only for me, but for my family, and we’ve tried to turn it into something more positive and inspirational and helpful for other people.” — Risa Kirschner, who lives in Farmington Hills and who at age 29 and pregnant with her second child learned she had atrial myxoma, a heart tumor.
“I have treasured every single second spent with Alli [her daughter who was 2 years old at the time of her diagnosis], who is a senior at Michigan State University. I don't take a single day or my health for granted and try to live life to the fullest,” Risa says. “I had been given a second chance and wanted to give back to those who made it possible and to help others who might be going through a similar experience.”
During this episode, you’ll meet Risa as well as fellow Epic Heart Heroes Amanda Allen and Aimee Bingham. They all share their unique heart story — Amanda of Rochester Hills, learned she had a heart defect at age 12, and Aimee had an aortic aneurysm and had open heart surgery at age 35. They’re all dedicated to helping raise awareness of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death for women in the United States.
As the women share during this important conversation, a common misconception is that heart disease is a man’s disease, when in fact almost as many women as men experience it themselves.
Amanda, Risa, and Aimee serve as spokespeople for the American Heart Association and the Detroit Women’s Half Marathon, 10K, and 5K, and represent the Epic Heart Heroes at the Women Run the D Expotique on race weekend and participate in the races on race day. Race weekend is right around the corner — Sept. 17-18, on Belle Isle in Detroit.
Also joining this conversation: Dr. Audrey Wu, a cardiologist at the University of Michigan, an Ann Arbor triathlete/runner and triathlon coach, and mom of 3, as well as race director Eva Solomon, who is behind Epic Races, a race management company in southeast Michigan. The American Home Fitness Women Run the D Half Marathon, 10K & 5K is an Epic Races event.
There's still time to sign up for this race! Use the code MIRunnerGirl102022 to save on your race entry to the Women Run the D Half Marathon, 10K & 5K on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2023 on Belle Isle in Detroit, Mich. Register here: https://runsignup.com/Race/MI/Anywhere/TheAmericanHomeFitnessDetroitWomensHalfMarathonand5K